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Wind farms on hold in Harvey County 

Credit:  by: Craig Andres, Stephanie Nutt | Posted: Feb 21, 2023 | ksn.com ~~

Harvey County has put the brakes on a proposed wind farm project. On Tuesday, county commissioners put a six-month moratorium on any renewable energy build in the county.

“Well, there seem to be a lot of folks that don’t want it in the county, and I understand why,” said Harvey County Commissioner Don Schroeder.

Schroeder says the issue of a commercial wind farm proposed for the western part of the county came up last year. He feels the County needed to slow down and do more study on the possible impacts of a commercial wind farm.

“I just kind of feel like it’s appropriate to maybe just step back,” said Schroeder.

The other commissioner that voted for the six-month pause on renewable energy builds was Becky Reimer.

“How it could affect their property value? Their quality of life, the sounds that it puts off,” said Reimer.

Reimer says they also want science-based answers on tall wind turbines and possible ground vibrations. She says that the question centers on whether or not vibrations could impact the quality of water underground.

Justin Stucky is chair of the Harvey County planning and zoning group. Planning and zoning took the idea of a moratorium to the county commissioners, who want to wait until a study is done to make a decision.

“Renewable energies, I think, are definitely the way of the future,” said Stucky. “I do think it needs some time to gain some advances in technology.”

Stucky said a public vote might be a good idea to get the pulse of many in the rural areas of the county where NextEra Energy proposed a wind turbine project.

KSN reached out to NextEra Energy to comment on the commission’s voting to halt any renewable energy commercial projects for at least a six-month time frame.

“While we are disappointed by the commission’s decision to revisit the regulations, we remain hopeful to continue our development efforts in Harvey County,” said Sara Cassidy, the manager of development communications for NextEra Energy Resources.

Commissioners say they are not ruling out renewable energy projects, but they want more studies.

“We also need to be looking at setbacks,” said Reimer. “The way things have been, some of these turbines could be within two blocks of homes. That needs to be addressed.”

The commission is also considering a non-binding public vote to see where public opinion comes down on the issue.

Schroeder says they also want answers on what the County would get out of allowing a commercial wind farm. He says those questions include tax monies coming to the state and the county and who would pay for taking down any wind turbines after their lifespan is over.

Source:  by: Craig Andres, Stephanie Nutt | Posted: Feb 21, 2023 | ksn.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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